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Citizen Airmen providing superior global reach

  • Published
  • By Col. Jack H. Pittman, Jr.
  • Commander, 302nd Airlift Wing

That’s the 302nd Airlift Wing’s mission statement and it succinctly sums up who we are and what we do. When given the opportunity to present our wing’s mission briefing to distinguished visitors, elected officials and community leaders, I place emphasis on the phrase “Citizen Airmen.” I remind them that the members of the Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing are Citizen Airmen, meaning we serve our nation as Air Force Reservists in a part-time status when not mobilized or deployed and still maintain the readiness, medical and fitness requirements to the exact same standard as our active duty or full-time counterparts. And, that we do this while balancing full-time civilian careers and family, volunteering in our communities, pursuing advanced degrees and skills in both civilian and professional military education, as well as other significant responsibilities.

In addition to considering the phrase, “Citizen Airmen,” I’d also like to take a moment to recognize each one of you for your outstanding efforts in supporting every mission within this wing allowing us to successfully achieve “superior global reach.” Whether you are an operator, maintainer or mission support member, you have a critical role in the success of our mission. Your knowledge, expertise and extraordinary efforts are key to this wing attaining and maintaining its ability to provide superior global reach to our nation’s defense.

This past year was an extremely busy and successful one. Throughout the year we dotted the globe providing support in the areas of airlift, aircraft maintenance, aerial port, logistics readiness, aeromedical evacuation, force sustainment services, security, aerial fire fighting and mission support. The year 2015 offered a few firsts for the wing to include a first-time deployment of two aircraft and fifty-two Reservists to Poland in support of NATO’s Operation Atlantic Resolve as well as bilateral training with the Polish Air Force, a second-place finish in the AFRC Port “Dawg” Challenge by our 39th Aerial Port Squadron team, recognition of our wing’s Security Forces Squadron as the best tenant SFS in AFRC and the first AFRC traditional reserve Historian to win an Air Force-level award. We saw numerous achievements in aircraft maintenance to include the 302nd Maintenance Group’s successful production of four out of the five top performing C-130s in AFRC. Additionally, the wing answered the call supporting our nation’s wildland fire fighting suppression efforts in California with the activation of two 302nd AW Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-equipped C-130s, aircrews and support personnel from Aug. 3 through Sept. 2.

And, the Airlift/Tanker Association named the 302nd AW the 2015 Lt. Gen. James E. Sherrard III Award winner, recognizing the 302nd AW as the Air Force Reserve’s outstanding air mobility wing. This is a major accomplishment and is significant recognition as this wing is recognized as one of the best throughout the entire Air Force Reserve airlift and tanker community. The team here at the 302nd Airlift Wing is outstanding because of our members, your expertise and dedication to the mission. To the members of the 302nd Airlift Wing, to your families, to your supportive civilian employers and all who offer their support to ensure our members can serve, I thank you. It takes a full team effort and this past year our team not only met every challenge but exceeded expectations. Thank you for your dedication to being a one of our nation’s Citizen Airmen in the 302nd Airlift Wing and thank you for all you do!